After waiting 14 years to renew an old football rivalry, Calvert Hall and Poly were forced to wait one more day when Thursday’s heavy rains postponed their first scheduled meeting since 1996 and forced the teams to shift the contest from Poly to Calvert Hall.
The highly anticipated clash between this pair of Top 10 powers was dominated by Calvert Hall’s ever impressive defense, which paced a 29-0 victory for the No. 3 Cardinals. It was Calvert Hall’s third consecutive shutout with each coming against teams which were previously unbeaten.
No. 7 Poly had won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the former Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) rivals and came in averaging 45 points per game during a 4-0 start. Friday, however, the Engineers managed just 87 yards of total offense, including minus four on the ground.
Calvert Hall’s first points came on a first quarter safety when senior Stefan Janik wrapped up Poly quarterback Darrell Milburn in the end zone before the QB tossed the ball out of bounds. Milburn was whistled for intentional grounding and the Cardinals were awarded two points.
“This defense has accomplished something amazing which most Calvert Hall defenses have never done before,” said Janik. “We have 33 points scored against us in six games. We trust the man next to us. We all maintain our responsibilities every play.”
The Cardinals (6-0) received a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown from Emmanuel Holder. Holder and Janik also each recovered a fumble and Adrian Amos picked off a pass to setup a second quarter Cardinal score.
Calvert Hall’s first touchdown came on the second play of the second quarter when CJ Williams powered into the end zone at the end of a seven-yard run. Amos’ interception came on Poly’s next possession and the Cardinals capitalized five plays later.
Sophomore Kyle Levere made a nifty shoe-top grab of a Thomas Stuart pass, at the two-yard line and demonstrated great athleticism with a twisting dive to the pylon to complete a 10-yard touchdown reception.
Calvert Hall led 16-0 at the half and stretched its advantage to 23-0 with Holder’s third quarter pick six. Holder snagged an attempted screen pass out of the air with one hand and race untouched into the end zone.
Williams was once again a work horse, carrying 17 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns. His second TD capped the scoring when he scampered six yards with just 2:07 to play. Stuart was also effective in the passing game, completing 7-of-11 for 94 yards and the one touchdown. He was, however, intercepted twice.
Poly’s Donovan Riley has a good game, catching five balls for 42 yards and intercepting a pass on defense. Greg Jones also had a pick for the Engineers.
In the end, however, it all came back to the defense for Calvert Hall. Much of the unit’s success can be traced back to the goals it sets for itself.
“We want to shutout every team. We want to be a perfect defense. We want to be the best defense in state. We want to be the best defense in Calvert Hall history,” said Amos. “We want to be great. Our coach gave us the challenge to be great because we had the potential to be great this year and that’s what we want to do.”
An opportunity to achieve some of those goals now presents itself next Friday night when the Cardinals host No. 1 Gilman in the first ever night football game at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium.
Gilman has been extremely impressive thus far with quarterback Darius Jennings headlining an incredibly fast and athletic squad. Gilman will also come in with something to prove after losing to Calvert Hall on its home field last season.
“Against Gilman, there is absolutely no room for error,” said Janik. “If we continue playing the way we have been playing, by taking care of all of our responsibilities on defense, Gilman is going to have a tough time scoring on us. But, they are a very good program and they are not going to take us lightly this year.”
The Poly/Calvert Hall game was also our VarsitySportsNetwork.com/Kudda Sports Game of the Week. Click on the Related Videos link above to watch play-by-play, from Booker Corrigan, of the entire game.
|No. 3 Calvert Hall 29, No. 7 Poly 0|
|CH-Safety – Milburn intentional grounding in end zone|
|CH-CJ Williams 7 run (Levis kick)|
|CH-Levere 10 pass from Stuart (Levis kick)|
|CH-Holder 20 interception return (Levis kick)|
|CH-CJ Williams 6 run (kick failed)|